Oh god yes. My first inclination in any RPG has always been to scour every map I can find for side quests, which in DA:O meant spending something like an hour or two listening to Morrigan get more and more disapproving of my nicer actions. It did a lot for my appreciation of her character when I didn't have to have her as a companion.
As for the next-gen consoles, I'm right there with you Lockhart. I've never been a big fan of the X-Box line, myself, and the public reaction to the XBOne has kind of convinced me it'll be dead in the water before long, backpeddling and minor improvements be damned. The one I'd be most interesting in getting is the PS4, since I've been a Sony fanboy since birth and most of my favorite franchises tend to stick with them, but after their awesome presentation, I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop somehow. There's got to be SOMETHING that balances out winning that much ground in the console wars that quickly. Years down the line, I'll probably pick up the Wii U, if only because Nintendo has proven to be consistent. They may not be as flashy as Microsoft or Sony usually are, but at the end of the day, they tend to put out good quality stuff, especially given time.
Also, yes, Hal, The Last of Us is fantastic, if absolutely brutal and depressing as all hell.